BROOMFIELD — The Chilly/Chili Invitational, one of the first tournaments of the girls golf season, certainly didn’t live up to its name Saturday — at least not all of it.
It was anything but chilly at Eagle Trace Golf Club, where temperatures reached into the 70s in ideal weather conditions for mid-March. On the other hand, the competitors still were served chili after their rounds and the Invite proved to be a hotly contested tournament, at least individually.
In a 24-team event that featured two of the top three finishers from last year’s 5A state tournament, and the runner-up from 4A, host Broomfield claimed second place and Fairview fourth.
And Broomfield junior Taylor Dorans, who’s placed sixth in both of her 4A state tournament appearances, finished fourth individually at the course where she not only plays regularly but is employed.
“We’re always prepared this time of year to wear a bunch of jackets and stuff, so it’s nice being able to wear shorts and not have all the layers,” said Dorans, the 2011 Colorado Junior Golf Association girls Junior Series champion. “And I love playing this course.”
With her Irish ancestry, Dorans sported a cap with a big shamrock on it for St. Patrick’s Day, and it seemed to bring her good luck. She carded four birdies and didn’t have a score worse than a bogey.
“For the first tournament I was really pleased with the way I was hitting the ball,” she said.
Despite the Chilly/Chili being the season opener for most schools, there was no lack of low scores as six players shot 77 or below. But that was no surprise given the perfect weather and the presence of five players who finished in the top 10 at either the 5A or 4A state tournament last spring.
Claudia Davis of Arapahoe, ninth in 5A a year ago, shot an even-par 72 to win by a stroke. Colorado Women’s Golf Association Junior Player of the Year Allie Johnston of Rock Canyon, who won the CWGA Junior Stroke Play at Eagle Trace last summer, was runner-up Saturday at 73.
Four players from Boulder Valley schools, and another from Broomfield-based Legacy, placed in the top 10 Saturday. Besides Dorans (75 for fourth place), another golfer with Irish blood, Fairview junior Megan McCambridge, joined Broomfield senior Alex Briggs in finishing eighth at 81. And FHS’ Jordan Sunset tied for 10th at 82. Meanwhile, Legacy sophomore Sarah Hankins, a top-20 finisher at state as a freshman, was fifth on Saturday, helping the Lightning place fifth as a team.
Arapahoe shot a 15-over-par 231 total to easily defend its team title, beating runner-up Broomfield by 16 strokes.
“We’re happy with that finish,” said Eagles coach John Ferraro, whose team took second at the 4A state tournament in 2011. “Arapahoe is a really good team, so even getting close to them is good. We’ve got some work to do certainly, but for the first tournament of the year, we couldn’t be happier right now.
“I think when you host sometimes, there’s more pressure because the girls want to win their own tournament, but overall I think they played great.”
Fairview, which finished sixth in the 5A state meet last year, started strong in the first tournament under new head coach John Zerwin, a former University of Colorado golfer.
“We have three solid players returning (after all placed in the top 45 at state), so it should be a great year,” McCambridge said, referring to herself, Sunset and Kelly Moran. “I’m looking forward to it a lot.”
Another player with high hopes this season is Legacy’s Hankins, who placed 19th at state last year. On Saturday, she started her sophomore season by hitting 15 greens in regulation, making three birdies and finishing in the top five.
“Overall, I felt excellent about it,” she said. “This is the best ball-striking I’ve ever had — at least that I can think of. The only thing that let me down was my putts. I could not feel the greens; even those 3-foot putts were scaring me a little.”
At Par-72 Eagle Trace GC in Broomfield
Team scores — 1. Arapahoe 231, 2. Broomfield 247, 3. Rock Canyon 251, 4. Fairview 253, 5. Legacy 266, 6. Denver East 268, 7. Skyline 270, 8. Thompson Valley 276, 9. Cherokee Trail 277, 10. Northridge 283, 11. Estes Park 293, 12. Jefferson Academy 294, 13. Mountain View 305, 14. Grandview 311, 15. Standley Lake 314, 16. D’Evelyn 318, 17. Boulder 323, 18. Northglenn 335, 19. Peak to Peak 340, 20. Brush 345, 21. Rangeview 355, 22. Prairie View 367, 23. Mountain Range 380, 24. Thornton no team score.
Top individuals — 1. Claudia Davis, Arapahoe, 72; 2. Allie Johnston, Rock Canyon 73; 3. Jennifer Kupcho, Jefferson Academy 74; 4. Taylor Dorans, Broomfield 75; 5. Sarah Hankins, Legacy 76; 6. Hannah Wood, Arapahoe 77.
Other Broomfield scores — Alex Briggs 81, Danielle Dorans 91, Sam Bartle 106.
Fairview scores — Megan McCambridge 81, Jordan Sunset 82, Kelly Moran 90, Maddy Stewart 116.
Other Legacy scores — Morgan Hoos 94, Morgan Stacks 96, Elysia Newton 116.
Skyline scores — Danielle Mercure 85, Adara Pauluhn 90, Janti Klimecki 95, Haiden DeJane 110.
Boulder scores — Aly Beeman 102, Alex Jaros 104, Danielle Picard 117, Anna Cutler 124.
Peak to Peak scores — MacKenzie Murphy 93, Emily Long 118, Yaejin Lee 129.